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Operation shaving cream more than halfway toward goal
Send cans from locations around town
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How to donate

Send cans for "Operation Shaving Cream"

  • Buy a 12-can case for $12 at J&J Foods, 1075 Jesse Jewell Parkway, Gainesville; 406 E. Main St., Dahlonega; 2500 Limestone Parkway, Gainesville. There is no additional charge for shipping.
  • Drop off single cans or caseloads at Milton Martin Honda, 2420 Browns Bridge Road, or the Northeast Georgia History Center, 322 Academy St., both in Gainesville.
  • The North Georgia Community Foundation at615F Oak Street, Suite 1300, Gainesville, GA 30501, is accepting tax-deductible monetary donations. Donate online.


Operation Shaving Cream is charging ahead, more than halfway toward its goal of 10,200 cans of the potentially life-saving product being shipped to a waiting U.S. Marine company in Afghanistan.

"We'd love to get to 850 (cases of 12 cans each) by the end of the week," said Darrell Wiley, president and CEO of J&J Foods.

Marines in the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines' Cherokee Company, are using the white, foamy stuff to mark suspected sites of roadside bombs, which have killed or seriously injured many U.S.-led coalition troops in the war-torn country.

Lt. Paul Herdener, a 2004 North Hall High School graduate, is a member of the company.

His father, Tony Herdener, is helping to lead the shaving cream effort.

What began as a project in the Rotary Club of Gainesville has spread to other organizations in town and become a full-blown campaign.

J&J Foods has set up displays at its three stores — two in Gainesville and one in Dahlonega— explaining the campaign. Shoppers can buy a 12-can case for $12 and pay no additional charge for taxes or shipping.

As of Wednesday, 556 cases, or 6,672 cans, have been either bought or committed to through financial pledges.

"It has gone exceptionally well," Wiley said.

"People are coming out of the woodwork asking for ways to donate."

He said he received a letter from someone who lives out of state asking how they could donate to their local Marines.

"We haven't figured out how to do that yet, but we're at least going to tell them they can make donations through the North Georgia Community Foundation," Wiley said.

The Gainesville-based foundation is accepting tax-deductible monetary donations for the effort, giving people an option to buying the cans themselves.

"I think it's important to note that this is an ongoing need," even after Paul Herdener has returned home, said the organization's president and CEO, Jim Mathis Jr.

"We hope to continue for as long as (military personnel) are there and as long as there's a need."

Milton Martin Honda on Browns Bridge Road is also a collection point for those wishing to send shaving cream, whether in case loads or individual cans.

Kipper Tool Co. at 2375 Murphy Blvd., Gainesville, which supplies industrial-quality tools to businesses, industry and government, also has pledged to ship the cases to the Marines.

Herdener has said that he first learned about the need from his son, whose company is based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Marines had tried several things to mark possible bomb locations, but nothing seemed to work as well as shaving cream.

Spray paint, for example, left more of a permanent mark, which is "dangerous, because the Taliban can use it against you," Herdener said.

"They can put a (bomb) where the spray paint is," he said.

Typically, "shaving cream stays on the ground about 20 to 30 minutes until it dissipates," Herdener said.

Casey M. Brock, C Company's commanding officer, has said the "supply of this much-needed item has run dangerously low, and we literally are living day to day on it."

Herdener said Wednesday that Brock was pleased when he learned the number of cans the community is aiming to send to the Marines.

"He said they'd be able (to provide them to) the whole battalion — 1,200 guys who do patrols — and then they'd have some (cans) left over ... for the next battalion that comes in," Herdener said.

The shaving cream is "invaluable to them, and Capt. Brock was just absolutely pumped about (the campaign)," he added.